French-Language Manuscript Materials

The imprint of French culture on Louisiana and the Lower Mississippi Valley has been deep and long lasting. French explorers and colonists were among the earliest Europeans to arrive in the region, beginning in the seventeenth century. Louisiana, named for Louis XIV, belonged to France for much of the 1700s and again from 1800 until it was sold to the United States in 1803. French settlers came to Louisiana both directly from France and indirectly from other areas. The latter included Acadians expelled from present-day Nova Scotia in the mid-eighteenth century and refugees from St. Domingue (present-day Haiti) in 1804. Some followers of Napoleon arrived in Louisiana after their leader's defeat in 1814. Other French immigrants came to Louisiana for a variety of reasons throughout the nineteenth century.

The French-language manuscript resources in the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections (LLMVC) at LSU touch upon all these sources of French cultural influence. This guide to these resources includes descriptions of the papers of early colonists, French-speaking planters and free people of color in the nineteenth century, and residents of cities and towns like New Orleans and Natchitoches. The documents it describes came from farmers and merchants, writers and artists, women and men, the famous and the anonymous.

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Hardin, J. Fair, 1893-1940. Collection, 1718-1939. 2,225 items, 17 vols. Location: S-29-36, P-2, 78:66, OS:H, Map Cage, 98:H, Vault:3, Mss.Mf:H. Shreveport attorney, vice president of the Louisiana Historical Society, and author of historical articles and a three-volume history of Northwest Louisiana. Collection contains correspondence, articles, copies of speeches, research materials and related papers pertaining to historical sites or events. Included are Civil War letters, Confederate money and notes, and research notes on the Red River campaign. Also included are two bound manuscript volumes: J. W. Sims letter book (1863-1864) and a minute book (1904-1911). Earlier materials relate to Indian agents and the Caddo Indians in northwest Louisiana and settlement and land claims in the area. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1014.

Referenced in Guides: Spanish, Civil War, French, Jewish Community

Hart-Bonnecaze-Duncan Family Papers, 1775-1949 (bulk 1840-1875, 1905-1940). 2 linear ft., 2 mf reels. Location: T:18, OS:H, Mss.Mf:B. Baton Rouge families related by marriage. Leon Bonnecaze was a businessman and French consular agent; Samuel Hart was the first chief of the Baton Rouge Fire Department; Robert Hart served as Baton Rouge mayor in 1898-1902. Papers include correspondence and writings; legal records; financial records; ephemera; sheet music; and photographs. Papers provide some information on civilian conditions in the Civil War and on the Baton Rouge Fire Department. Partly in French and Spanish. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3371, 4208.

Hasselmans, Louis. Papers, 1825-1945. 116 items, 4 printed volumes. Location: U:156, 11:10, MSS.MF:H. Musician and conductor of the Opera comique in Paris, France, and in Montreal, Canada; the Chicago Civic Opera; and the Metropolitan Opera (as director of French repertory). He later was professor of music at Louisiana State University. Collection includes papers and photographs of Louis Hasselmans and papers of his grandfather, Joseph Hasselmans, a native Belgian who conducted orchestras in Strasbourg and Marseilles, France. Partly in French. Some digital images of photographs are available on the digital library. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 865.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, French, LSU

Haydel, Antoine. Records, 1856-1858. 5 items. Location: Misc.: H. Planter of St. John Parish, La. Accounts for the purchase of clothing and household items. In French. Mss. 5266.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, French

Hebert, Raphael. Family Papers, 1827-1960 (bulk: 1861-1960). Size: 3.5 linear ft. Location: S:135-137, OS:H. Raphael Hebert family of West Baton Rouge and Iberville Parishes (La.). Collection is primarily papers of Raphael Hebert and his children Joseph Guy, Noel, and Marguerite, a school teacher. Correspondence, financial/legal papers, personal papers, printed items. And photographic materials reflect the family's involvement in civic, educational, and religious affairs and includes letters from Melanie Hebert while at student at St. Basil's in Plaquemine in the 1870s, as well as a few Civil War letters. Also included are records from St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Brusly, La. For further information, see online catalog. Mss 4769.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Women, Civil War, Education, Baton Rouge, French

Hedat, Jean. Affadavit, 1844. 1 item. Location: Misc.:H. Affadavit in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1244.

Referenced in Guides: French

Hello, Henri. Papers, 1937. 2 items, 1 pamphlet. Location: Misc.:H. French author and nephew of Ernest Hello. Letter from Henri Hello referring to the preparation of a bibliography of the works of Ernest Hello, and an autographed copy of a reprint of the preface in Abbe Cauwes' Ernest Hello (Paris, 1937). In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2057.

Referenced in Guides: French, Literature

Helluin, Pierre Firmin. Letters. 1838-1855. 1 vol. Location: C:21. Native of France and trade store owner in Napoleonville, Louisiana. Collection contains photocopies of original letters written by Helluin to relatives in France and later transcriptions of them. Genealogical information and photocopied church records are also included. Partly in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4649.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, French

Henriot, Jérôme. Poem, circa 1893-1900. 1 item (photocopy). Location: Misc.:H. Poem entitled 'L'ouragan de la Cheniere Caminada' describes destruction of a Louisiana village by a hurricane in October 1893, and lists names of some of the victims. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2611.

Referenced in Guides: French, Literature

Hero, Andrew J., Jr. b. 1839. Family Papers, 1829-1905 (bulk 1840-1890). 1.1 linear ft. (599 items, 2 ms. Vols., 4 printed vols.). Location: U:160, O:1, OS:H. Captain in the Washington Artillery of the Confederate army, and land owner and agent in Louisiana and Texas. Papers include correspondence, financial, professional, and political papers and photographs that document Hero's career and personal life. Includes some items in Spanish and in French. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reels 7-8. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 976, 977, 994, 1030, 1039.

Referenced in Guides: Spanish, Civil War, French